Friday, 19 November 2010

Nice post from Seth Godin

Every project (product, play, event, company, venture, non profit) has a million tasks that need to be done, thousands of decisions, predictions, bits of effort, conversations and plans.

Got that.

But what's the hard part?

The CEO spends ten minutes discussing the layout of the office with the office manager. Why? Was that a difficult task that could only be done by her? Unlikely.
The founder of a restaurant spends hours at the cash register, taking orders and hurrying the line along... important, vital, emotional, but hard? Not if we think of hard as the chasm, the dividing line between success and failure. No, the hard part is raising two million dollars to build more stores. Hard is hiring someone better than you to do this part of the job.

Hard is not about sweat or time, hard is about finishing the rare, valuable, risky task that few complete.

Don't tell me you want to launch a line of spices but don't want to make sales calls to supermarket buyers. That's the hard part.

Don't tell me you are a great chef but can't deal with cranky customers. That's the hard part.

Don't tell me you have a good heart but don't want to raise money. That's the hard part.

Identifying which part of your project is hard is, paradoxically, not so easy, because we work to hide the hard parts. They frighten us.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Camera and iPhone on a weather balloon

This is awesome!!! Kid and his dad plotted to send a camera into space on a weather balloon with an attached iPhone to transmit the location of the device with the GPS.

After a few hours, they find the camera and the iPhone in tact.

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Gangsta Lorem Ipsum - This is funny!

Lorizzle ipsizzle brizzle shiznit amet, consectetuer adipiscing check out this. Nullam you son of a bizzle velizzle, aliquet volutpat, suscipizzle quis, ghetto phat, pot. Pellentesque break it down tortor. Funky fresh ass. Own yo' izzle dolizzle dapibus i'm in the shizzle tempizzle tempizzle. Boom shackalack fizzle nibh izzle turpizzle. Vestibulum izzle tortizzle. I saw beyonces tizzles and my pizzle went crizzle eleifend rhoncizzle nisi. In hac habitasse platea nizzle. Sheezy dapibizzle. Curabitur tellus the bizzle, pretium fo shizzle my nizzle, mattizzle stuff, eleifend vitae, nunc. Shit suscipit. Pimpin' sempizzle bow wow wow bow wow wow mah nizzle.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Some great examples of social media gone wrong

This is a great presentation with case studies of some of the real Social Media mistakes and in some cases recoveries.

Good one for those involved in online reputation management.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Awesome job application - Greame Anthony

This is the best job application I've ever seen. Seems that Mr Anthony has raised the bar in these parts. I understand that it was so good that the head of YouTube invited the man in for a coffee to discuss the video.

Nice work Greame - Good side parting too

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Steve Jobs on Advertising

This is a from the 90's and the quality isnt great but that's what makes this clip so special.

Steve Jobs explains what he believes brand advertising is all about and then shows a great example of this.

All in a pair of shorts

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Change the world

Awesome inspiring video for the few who want to change the world

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Jeff Bezos, speaking to Princeton’s Baccalaureate Class of 2010:

I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all.
After much consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion, and I’m proud of that choice….

When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices.
Build yourself a great story.

"We are What We Choose"
Remarks by Jeff Bezos, as delivered to the Princeton Class of 2010
May 30, 2010

As a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents on their ranch in Texas. I helped fix windmills, vaccinate cattle, and do other chores. We also watched soap operas every afternoon, especially "Days of our Lives." My grandparents belonged to a Caravan Club, a group of Airstream trailer owners who travel together around the U.S. and Canada. And every few summers, we'd join the caravan. We'd hitch up the Airstream trailer to my grandfather's car, and off we'd go, in a line with 300 other Airstream adventurers. I loved and worshipped my grandparents and I really looked forward to these trips. On one particular trip, I was about 10 years old. I was rolling around in the big bench seat in the back of the car. My grandfather was driving. And my grandmother had the passenger seat. She smoked throughout these trips, and I hated the smell.

At that age, I'd take any excuse to make estimates and do minor arithmetic. I'd calculate our gas mileage -- figure out useless statistics on things like grocery spending. I'd been hearing an ad campaign about smoking. I can't remember the details, but basically the ad said, every puff of a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life: I think it might have been two minutes per puff. At any rate, I decided to do the math for my grandmother. I estimated the number of cigarettes per days, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette and so on. When I was satisfied that I'd come up with a reasonable number, I poked my head into the front of the car, tapped my grandmother on the shoulder, and proudly proclaimed, "At two minutes per puff, you've taken nine years off your life!"

I have a vivid memory of what happened, and it was not what I expected. I expected to be applauded for my cleverness and arithmetic skills. "Jeff, you're so smart. You had to have made some tricky estimates, figure out the number of minutes in a year and do some division." That's not what happened. Instead, my grandmother burst into tears. I sat in the backseat and did not know what to do. While my grandmother sat crying, my grandfather, who had been driving in silence, pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. He got out of the car and came around and opened my door and waited for me to follow. Was I in trouble? My grandfather was a highly intelligent, quiet man. He had never said a harsh word to me, and maybe this was to be the first time? Or maybe he would ask that I get back in the car and apologize to my grandmother. I had no experience in this realm with my grandparents and no way to gauge what the consequences might be. We stopped beside the trailer. My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, "Jeff, one day you'll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever."

What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy -- they're given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you're not careful, and if you do, it'll probably be to the detriment of your choices.

This is a group with many gifts. I'm sure one of your gifts is the gift of a smart and capable brain. I'm confident that's the case because admission is competitive and if there weren't some signs that you're clever, the dean of admission wouldn't have let you in.

Your smarts will come in handy because you will travel in a land of marvels. We humans -- plodding as we are -- will astonish ourselves. We'll invent ways to generate clean energy and a lot of it. Atom by atom, we'll assemble tiny machines that will enter cell walls and make repairs. This month comes the extraordinary but also inevitable news that we've synthesized life. In the coming years, we'll not only synthesize it, but we'll engineer it to specifications. I believe you'll even see us understand the human brain. Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Galileo, Newton -- all the curious from the ages would have wanted to be alive most of all right now. As a civilization, we will have so many gifts, just as you as individuals have so many individual gifts as you sit before me.

How will you use these gifts? And will you take pride in your gifts or pride in your choices?

I got the idea to start Amazon 16 years ago. I came across the fact that Web usage was growing at 2,300 percent per year. I'd never seen or heard of anything that grew that fast, and the idea of building an online bookstore with millions of titles -- something that simply couldn't exist in the physical world -- was very exciting to me. I had just turned 30 years old, and I'd been married for a year. I told my wife MacKenzie that I wanted to quit my job and go do this crazy thing that probably wouldn't work since most startups don't, and I wasn't sure what would happen after that. MacKenzie (also a Princeton grad and sitting here in the second row) told me I should go for it. As a young boy, I'd been a garage inventor. I'd invented an automatic gate closer out of cement-filled tires, a solar cooker that didn't work very well out of an umbrella and tinfoil, baking-pan alarms to entrap my siblings. I'd always wanted to be an inventor, and she wanted me to follow my passion.

I was working at a financial firm in New York City with a bunch of very smart people, and I had a brilliant boss that I much admired. I went to my boss and told him I wanted to start a company selling books on the Internet. He took me on a long walk in Central Park, listened carefully to me, and finally said, "That sounds like a really good idea, but it would be an even better idea for someone who didn't already have a good job." That logic made some sense to me, and he convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision. Seen in that light, it really was a difficult choice, but ultimately, I decided I had to give it a shot. I didn't think I'd regret trying and failing. And I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all. After much consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion, and I'm proud of that choice.

Tomorrow, in a very real sense, your life -- the life you author from scratch on your own -- begins.

How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?

Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?

Will you bluff it out when you're wrong, or will you apologize?

Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?

Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?

Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story. Thank you and good luck!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Why is mobile important

Why is mobile important

I read a quote from Eric Schmidt in the Telegraph recently stating that Google had changed its strategy to focus on mobiles rather than PC’s. This got me thinking, why is Mobile such big news for a traditionally ad revenue driven company and why are all the tech giants focusing so much of their energy in this direction.

After all, mobile’s share of total ad spend is still relatively small, in fact the IAB published figures recently stating that total mobile ad spend in the UK in 2009 was just 37.6 Million Pounds which isn’t much when compared to more than 3.5 Billion that is the total online ad spend.

So why the shift in focus and why is mobile getting such a disproportionate share of attention from the major movers in the industry.

1. It’s where the users are

The main reason has to be that consumers are spending an increasing amount of their time online through mobile devices. Applications and mobile focused sites have made objectives far easier to achieve online and it can all be done while on the go so consumers are spending more time on mobiles. In fact a recent IAB study shows that 23% of time spent accessing internet in the UK is currently on mobile devices. This is most easily seen on social networks where time spent online is now greater on mobiles than PC’s for some sites. Take Facebook for example the same IAB study shows 41 minutes a day on average is spent on Facebook via mobiles compared to 31 minutes a day via PC.

2. Mobile devices are improving

The next thing is that mobile devices are improving at a rate of knots, so much more can now be achieved. The new 4G HTC Incredible on the sprint network in the US can operate at 10MB/s which is faster than most broadband connections. This is the extreme but it is certainly the future and shortly that will surely be the standard. The iPad, and larger screened mobiles are also vastly improving usability. This means that we can do far more with our mobile devices than we could last year and the same goes for next year.

3. The cloud

Lastly, the cloud makes all the difference. It opens up wide avenues for increased mobile usage. I started this blog post at work, added to it while waiting for a meeting on Wednesday and then logged in from a different laptop at home to finish it. This sort of behavior is increasing the reason for users to access the internet via mobile and as these applications grow, mobile usage will grow with it.

So why are advertisers getting so excited

Location aware targeting is the big deal for me. Location aware search results are so much more relevant for the users. If for example I am in London Bridge and searching for Chinese takeaway in London Bridge, there is a pretty good chance that I will follow through and make a purchase if there is one nearby. As the relevance is greater, there will be a higher conversion rate which means greater ROI which is what it is all about.

So where is the future?

According to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, 50%* of all mobile internet time in the UK is going to Facebook at the moment.)

If Facebook can get location specific ads right, it could be huge. They already know how old you are whether you are a male or female. They know what your interests are and who your friends are. If advertisers can combine this with knowing where you are at any moment, the targeting opportunities are endless.

*(Stat found here

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

This interview with Steve Hannah, chief executive of The Onion

This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any article. Visit for samples and additional information.Order a reprint of this article now.


May 14, 2010

If Plan B Fails, Go Through the Alphabet
This interview with Steve Hannah, chief executive of The Onion, was conducted and condensed byAdam Bryant.

Q. When you’re introduced at a party as Steve Hannah from The Onion, do people expect you to be funny?

A. All the time. People say, “This guy is going to be a laugh a minute.” Sadly, it’s a very disappointing evening for them. I am the hired help. At The Onion, the creatives are absolutely the center of gravity.

Q. How do you interview job candidates?

A. I have two basic questions in mind: “Can you do the job, and would I enjoy spending time with you?” I want to know where you came from. I want to know how many children are in your family. I want to know where you fit in and what your role was. I want to know what your mother and your dad did, what influence they had on you. I find that, without overstepping my boundaries, most people like to talk about themselves.

Q. What is it you want to know?

A. I want to know whether you were a kid who was entitled, whether you worked hard, whether you excelled at school, whether you held summer jobs, how hard you had to work, whether you got the jobs yourself, whether you got promoted. I want to know if you’ll work hard. I’m hopelessly old-fashioned. I want people who really want to work hard. And I absolutely loathe a sense of entitlement.

Q. What else turns you off?

A. I hate it when someone comes in and they trash their former employer. They talk about how they were held back. They talk about how they worked for a terrible boss, and the boss did this or the boss did that.

I have no idea what makes people think this, but this happens often. People think that by telling their prospective employer that their previous employer was a complete slug, that somehow this is going to make me feel, what, sorry for them? I generally figure: Well, you didn’t work hard enough, and apparently you weren’t smart enough to figure out the system. That’s probably why you didn’t advance at your last job.

Q. What were the biggest influences on your leadership style?

A. My dad was a World War II and D-Day veteran. He was just a tough guy, and everything I ever learned about leadership from my dad was, you know, manage tough, manage angry. Life is tough, an endless struggle. You’re entitled to nothing. My parents used to say to me, “When you’re 18 you’re on your own.” And they meant it — I was on my own. He thought: “We’ve done our best with you. Now, we’ll find out what kind of character you have.”

At the same time, my mother said, “The sun, the moon, the stars and the tides were in alignment when you were born.” You know: “You can do anything you want. You’re terrific.” And if your mother tells you this often enough, you start to believe it. I think that if you’re going to run something, you have to have self-confidence. She gave it to me.

It doesn’t mean you think you’re going to get everything right. It doesn’t mean that you’re smarter than everybody else. It means that essentially you believe that you can get the job done. So my mother kind of told me, “You can get the job done.”

Meanwhile, I got my father’s view of the world that life is tough and you have to work hard to get what you want, to take care of your family, make sure your kids are provided for and be good to your friends. It’s not that complicated.

Q. Tell me about the first time you were a manager.

A. I was a reporter at The Milwaukee Journal. I was really hungry, terribly ambitious. My boss came to me one day and said, “We need you to run the bureau at the state capitol.” I was just starting a family. So I said, “How much does it pay?”

I felt that I could straighten my co-workers out. And so I went in on Monday and said: “In case you guys hadn’t heard, I’m the boss. Anybody who doesn’t like it, step right up and let me know.”

I did this silly dance for about nine months, and one day the senior member of the office came to me and said, “How long do you think we can survive this?” And I said: “I’ve got about another day in me. I’m exhausted trying to prove to you that I’m in charge.”

Around the same time, I had lunch with a friend who said, “Do you get up every morning and think that life is a battle, that you’re going to war every day?” And I said, “Yeah, basically.” And she said: “It’s not going to work. Be kind, take care of them and they’ll perform for you.” It was a revelation.

Q. What were other big influences?

A. About 10 years ago, I met a remarkable man, Lt. Gen. Harold Moore. Hal Moore co-wrote a book called, “We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young.” It was a book about the very first battle between the United States ArmyRangers and North Vietnamese regulars, in the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam in November 1965. It’s a spectacular book.

He had a favorite phrase: “I’ll always be the first person on the battlefield, my boots will be the first boots on it, and I’ll be the last person off. I’ll never leave a body.” And he never did. It was incredibly humbling just to be in his presence.

They made a movie out of the book, and Mel Gibson played Hal. The movie was called “We Were Soldiers.”

We met through a friend, and Hal said, “I want to write a book about leadership.” So we began this book project. Over the next year, I interviewed Hal with a tape recorder for hours and hours. Midway through the project, Hal got an offer to write a sequel to his book and I was offered The Onion job. But during our time together, he taught me a lot about how you manage people and what you owe the people you manage.

Q. What are the top three or five lessons?

A. In no particular order? He taught me that you never, ever do anything to deprive a human being of their dignity in work, in life. Always praise in public and criticize in private. You might be tempted, for example, when you’re letting someone go, to say something that would diminish the value of their work. Don’t ever do that.

And he taught me that when you’re faced with something that’s really difficult and you think you’re at the end of your tether, there’s always one more thing you can do to influence the outcome of this situation. And then after that there’s one more thing. The number or possible options is only limited by your imagination. Hal often said, “Imagination is enormously important, enormously important.”

Q. What else?

A. When I was young and managing, I didn’t listen nearly enough. Hal would always say to me: “Listen to the people below you because they are on the front lines. Do you realize that any given moment any one of those people from the highest to the lowest can be the most important person that day in your operation?” I’ve seen that happen in our business.

There was another thing that Hal and I used to talk about: decisiveness. In the beginning of my career, when people walked up to me and said, “Here’s the problem,” I’d say, “Here’s the answer” immediately. I did it in a nanosecond. It took me a while to learn that with some issues, I’d probably have a better answer tomorrow.

So I always say: “What’s the sunset provision on this decision? How much time do I have?” If somebody says to me, “You have 24 hours,” then I’ll take 23 hours and 59 minutes. Not always, but I usually take as much time as I possibly can. I don’t feel the need to appear so swift and decisive that I’m going to make a knee-jerk decision. I think that’s a young person’s game. I’ll take the time allotted to me.

Q. What are some other approaches you have to work?

A. I try to get out of my comfort zone every day. I say yes to things that I really don’t want to do, or I get involved in things that are difficult for me to be involved in, for whatever reason.

Q. What is your career advice to somebody just graduating from college?

A. Find what you really love to do and then go after it — relentlessly. And don’t fret about the money. Because what you love to do is quite likely what you’re good at. And what you’re good at will likely bring you financial reward eventually.

I’ve seen too many people who have plotted a career, and often what’s at the heart of all that plotting is nothing other than a stack of dollar bills. You need to be happy in order to be good, and you need to be good in order to succeed. And when you succeed, there’s a good chance you’ll get paid.

And while you’re at it, read. A lot. Start with Plato. He was a very practical man.

A small rant

Ok so it's time to rant.

I just received a text from Virgin Mobile, my mobile provider telling me that Virgin have a gift for me.

I have to find a computer, fortunately I'm sitting in front of one, then I have to enter a web address, my mobile number and a code.

The free gift waiting for me after all this trouble is a free days internet access. Yes thats right, a whole day of free internet access on my mobile phone.

No doubt, I would have seen a small amount of value in this if my mobile package didn't offer me unlimited mobile access all month.

As it stands, Virgin have just wasted 5 minutes of one of their customers time and thats poor marketing.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Julius Malema kicks the BBC out of his press room

It's a pity that the left and right wing exist, otherwise everyone could just get along.

I think perhaps Visagie and this guy should spend a few rounds in the boxing ring together and they could sort out their differences.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Cash Gordon

Too many tweets, but who’s the twat now?
The past five days have contained two of the more epic social media fails in recent history. Most of us remember last year’s Skittles fail — the one where the brand reworked their homepage to display a live and unmoderated Twitter stream of every tweet hashtagged #skittles.

It was a bold act, but an epic fail — as soon as the public realised what was going on, they started hashtagging all sorts of things #skittles… and all sorts of non-rainbow of fruit flavours content landed on the Skittles homepage. It was a brave move, but a foolish one, and the brand quickly took the tweet stream down.

Nestle’s big social media don’t

Last week, Nestle opened themselves up to goofy comments, vitriolic — if comedic –criticism and ultimately, brand slaughter with an unmoderated, totally public Facebook page. Unsurprisingly, the brand page (fan page?!) very quickly turned into a Wall of Hate. It’s not the smartest move for a brand that has attracted its share of criticism from some very outspoken groups. It’s even less intelligent given the whole Skittles fiasco. So what gives, Nestle? Did you think they wouldn’t find you? That greenies and breastfeeding advocates don’t use Facebook? Lo, they do, and they’re as happy to speak up here as they are in rallies and on their own blogs:

“It’s not ok for people to use altered versions of ur logos, but it’s ok for u to alter the face of Indonesian rainforest”

To their credit, the brand did post that it was ‘learning social media as we go’… but with an angry audience kicking forth gems like the above, it shouldn’t have taken long for the message to sink it. Alas, no: the site is still live and attracting flak.

Along comes Cash Gordon

If you’ve been under a rock or off the grid for the past few hours, you may have missed Cash Gordon, a Conservative fail so epic, so swift, and likely so catastrophic as to qualify as a nuclear is — well, was, as of 2:24 today — a tatty little site designed to encourage supporters to take part in the eponymous campaign, which highlights the Prime Minister’s links to the Unite union and attacks him for them.

So far, so typical — standard political jousting with a touch of the old ad hominem to keep things interesting. But it was in the way this site ‘did social media’ that it all went so wrong. Cameron is famously cautious about using Twitter, yet Cash Gordon devoted a huge chunk of real estate to a live, unmoderated Twitter feed that displayed any tweet so long as it included #cashgordon. Unsurprisingly, once the site was live it did not take long for the snarks to come rolling in:

Hello Mum! #cashgordon

#cashgordon Is this why we have yet to have an election called? Because Labour and Conservatives have both fucked up? Doing deals already?

… And so on:

Once people started talking and tweeting about the site, a few more gaping holes were discovered — as this tweet points out:

“You probablty want to avoid the #cashgordon website now — people have just discovered that it doesn’t sanitise tweets for HTML or JS”

Indeed, it didn’t — the site was an easy target for everyone from full-time hackers to bored developers trying to kill some time at lunch. Within minutes, it was fully taken over:

Cash Gordon’s death spiral was truly majestic, first involving flashes of sexually explicit images, then redirecting to Google, then to Nuts magazine, and finally supernova-ing into a sort of chat roulette random site connection engine, before imploding on itself. The URL now redirects to the latest article on the Conservative website.

How could they be so stupid?

This campaign is an epic fail on several very specific counts. Most horrifying for me is just how clearly this venture demonstrates a fundamental failure to learn from others’ mistakes. Skittles and Nestle both got slapped by opening themselves up to the public’s unbridled wrath — so why did the Conservatives do the very same thing? Hubris? Surely not, these are politicians we’re talking about.

Technology #FAIL

Secondly, this campaign is a spectacular, if painful, example of what happens when you fail to make intelligent technological choices. (The answer, Sirs, is that your technology fails you.) Not only was it easy to punk the site, it was relatively easy to hack it. What does this say about the people behind it — do they think we’re idiots, or do they not understand information technology and related security measures? Neither conclusion looks good for Mr. Cameron et al.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that this site isn’t even an original — it was actually based on a template that was developed in the US for use by anti-healthcare lobbyists. Is this an indication of how The Conservative Party approaches the challenge — and opportunity — of conversing with voters? By lobbing old, unsafe technology at us and hoping we don’t figure out how to break it?

Don’t they get their voters?

The final flavour of fail here, and surely the nastiest tang, is the Conservatives’ absolute failure to read their audience. How could they not expect this?! They are people and parents as well as politicians. Surely they have some read of the populus, and if that read doesn’t include the possibility that people who don’t like what they stand for might monkey around with their communication apparatuses, I’d suggest they hit the books again.

So how did this happen? It was either stupidity or hubris, but neither bodes well for a political party on the eve of an election. One thing this disaster certainly demonstrates is proof that public debates need moderators. How ironic that a political party, surely a veritable posse of would-be moderators if ever there was one, dropped that ball so majestically.

Trendspotting: self-flagellation of the big brands?

If this isn’t hubris or stupidity, it might be something new and equally cringe-worthy — a sort of self-flagellation on a corporate scale, wherein the big brand deliberately opens itself up to the public’s wrath, even to the extent of facilitating said attack. What is to be gained of this? Are they trying to tell us something? Is this a sort of ideological S&M-type roleplay, wherein little ol’ me now gets to wield the power and tell Nestle/Skittles/David Cameron/{insert next ‘victim’ here} just what I think of them and their policies? I despair…

So my message to the brands thinking of ‘doing social media’ in a really big, splashy, unmoderated way is this: don’t be twats, guys. You know we want to punk you. You know we don’t all like you. Don’t think you’re going to win our loyalty by rolling over and playing dumb. Apply some intelligence to your communication strategies, please.

*This article could easily be read as an anti-Conservative rant. It’s not. I reckon the odds were about even as to which party was going to do this, and I would say the very same thing had Labour launched a similar anti-David site.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The small business marketing and advertising conundrum

The small business marketing and advertising conundrum

Its always excites me when I come across diamonds in the rough. Individuals or small businesses which have massive potential which for some reason have not managed to realise this potential. These diamonds in the rough, are opportunities for liberation and that’s the greatest thrill which marketers face.

The reason I believe that these diamonds in the rough exist is that not all people are marketers. Great singers, plumbers, beauty therapist or Doctors are not always skilled at finding new potential clients or communicating their skill.

History is full of cases where products or businesses are launched ineffectively and fail only to be launched by another company years later and rush to success. Ever heard the saying, “The best thing since sliced bread” Well sliced bread had to be launched twice before it become the best thing.

Here’s why I believe that this problem exists. Small companies are often big enough to spend maybe 20000GBP a year on marketing but not big enough to hire a marketer of significant talent to truly grow a business. At the same time everyone in a small company is busy and so marketing becomes an ad hoc portfolio for someone who isn’t necessarily a marketer.

So what’s the solution? A solid, considered, well thought out marketing plan is where you need to start. Generating a sound marketing plan is something you can do within your company but my suggestion would be to enlist the assistance of a marketing expert. For a fee, you can ensure that your plan is more effective giving you a greater ROI and you will also gain the advantage of tapping into their network of agency partners and other strategic marketing alliances which can save you money in the long run.

I often speak with colleagues who tell me that they write their own marketing plans and I’m sure they’re pretty good but in the same way that everyone can write a short story or paint a nice picture, it doesn’t make them an expert novalist or artist. Get the right assistance at this stage because its often the difference between success and failure.

Once the marketing plan is in place, you can either ask the marketing consultant to drive the process or more cost effectively, you can hand the plan over to a project manager within your organisation to execute as agreed.

Thursday, 4 February 2010